Savers shouldn’t stash too much cash ‘under the mattress’, Royal London says

The amount of cash people are holding has almost doubled from £363bn in 2001-2003 to £711bn between 2014-16, according to the latest UK Personal Statistics published by HM Revenue & Customs.

Following the release, Royal London pension specialist Helen Morrissey has warned that, while have a reserve of cash ready for emergencies is always a good thing, savers should not “stash too much under the mattress”. As an alternative, Morrissey urged savers to seek financial advice on the best way to invest their money.

“While cash plays an important role in financial planning it is important to know the risks of holding large proportions of your assets in cash over the long term,” the Royal London pension specialist said.

Morrissey reminded us that rising inflation can “eat away” at the value of cash, arguing that it would be more “prudent” to invest in other areas.

Royal London head of multi-asset Trevor Greetham echoed this point, highlighting that, while cash is the safest asset in the short term, in the long term it is “one of the riskiest”.

“With interest rates set below the level of inflation the purchasing power of cash has fallen markedly in the decade since the financial crisis, even with interest reinvested,” he said.

Outside of residential property, cash accounts for the largest proportion of estates held by all the wealthiest households.

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